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Watts campaign reports more than 200 signs stolen

November 2nd, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Heidi Hansen and Cassidee Cline

LOGAN—Police have recovered about 70 of the more than 200 stolen campaign signs in Dumpsters and at the mouth of Dry Canyon.

Logan City Police Captain Jeff Curtis said the signs belong to Mayor Randy Watts and were taken over the last two weeks from yards Watts had commissioned to display the signs.

The estimated value of the signs is approximately $2,000 total, Curtis said.

Curtis said the case has been handed over to the investigation department to watch. He said they may have a vehicle, but would not release information about it, because they’re really not sure yet.

Curtis said they also do not know if it was a teenage prank or something more serious, like a direct attack on Watts’ campaign.

The mayor’s wife, Cathy Watts, said they counted about 255 signs that were taken from the commissioned yards in one night. She said they are not sure who could have taken the signs, “someone that didn’t want him elected I guess.”

“It’s unfortunate there is that much anger,” Watts said. He said he found out about the stolen signs on Sunday after getting calls from people who had requested the signs to be put up. Whoever stole the signs was even brave enough, Watts said, to take his campaign sign from his own property.

“It gives them an opportunity to be vindictive,” Watts said. After
this campaign he said the city might do away with campaign signs altogether.

Watts said he purchased about 300 signs for the campaign and never put up a sign without permission from the landowner. It’s the landowner who requests to have the sign, he said.

Even though Watts has been a main target, Watts said his No. 1 concern is safety. “Signs were pulled up from their stands,” Watts said. “The last thing we want is a child outside playing and getting hurt.”

Now that the election is over, Watts said his goal is to pull up the wire stands that held the signs and collect whatever signs
are left.

Capt. Curtis said the police are interviewing a few suspects, but no names are being released to the public.

–UPDATED Nov. 4 with additional information from HNC reporter Cassidee Cline.

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